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Wife of Houston doctor shot while biking to work speaks out for gun control

Chron logo Chron 7/22/2018 Keri Blakinger, Houston Chronicle

Former President George Bush, center, waves as he leaves with cardiologist Mark Hausknecht, left, and Bush's family doctor Ben Orman, right, after a news conference at Methodist Hospital Friday, Feb. 25, 2000 in Houston. Bush spent Thursday night in a Florida hospital and was released Friday after being treated for atrial fibrillation. He returned to Houston Friday and was admitted to Methodist Hospital for further tests. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Former President George Bush, center, waves as he leaves with cardiologist Mark Hausknecht, left, and Bush's family doctor Ben Orman, right, after a news conference at Methodist Hospital Friday, Feb. 25, 2000 in Houston. Bush spent Thursday night in a Florida hospital and was released Friday after being treated for atrial fibrillation. He returned to Houston Friday and was admitted to Methodist Hospital for further tests. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
© DAVID J. PHILLIP/Associated Press
A day after a beloved Houston cardiologist was gunned down while biking to work in the Texas Medical Center, his grieving wife spoke out, urging gun control and tighter firearms laws.

Dr. Mark Hausknecht, a renowned doctor who once treated former President George H.W. Bush, was shot by a passing bicyclist in broad daylight on Main Street. The 65-year-old died Friday morning at Ben Taub Hospital.

It's not clear whether the killing was random or targeted.

His widow, emergency physician Dr. Georgia R. Hsieh, put out a statement mid-day Saturday, as her family and the tight-knit medical community reeled from the crime.

"'Senseless' has become a trite adjective to describe these tragedies, but what IS senseless is the misguided notion that any society with more guns is a safer society," Hsieh wrote. "When students cannot go to school without fear, and teachers need to arm themselves, what has this country come to?"

In her years of emergency medicine work, she wrote, she's become "no stranger to the devastating consequences" of firearm use.

"Now my family and I have unwittingly joined the ranks of thousands of other grieving American families who have lost innocent loved ones," she continued.

Hausknecht was riding northbound Friday morning on Main Street at the intersection with Holcombe Boulevard when the gunman passed him, Houston police said. Two blocks later, the shooter turned around on his mountain bike and fired at least twice at Hausknecht, who immediately went down. The gunman fled on his bike, riding north.

The killer was still at large Saturday morning. He has been described as a clean-shaven white or Hispanic male, about 30 years old, who was wearing a gray warm-up jacket, khaki shorts, a tan baseball cap and sunglasses.

Hausknecht had been in practice in Houston since 1987. He biked to work every day, and took exceptional care of himself, a colleague said.

His widow wrote that the slain physician loved Houston, and she thanked the community for their support.

"So many have asked what can be done to help," she wrote. "While law enforcement has given you their focus on finding the criminal, I am asking you to use your vote and your voice to stem the tide of this growing public health epidemic. Write, email or tweet your congressman urging sensible gun laws. We owe it to future generations to leave a safer environment."

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